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Energy Department to Back Transmission Projects

The Energy Department has launched a $2.5 billion revolving fund to stimulate the construction of major transmission projects, according to  Axios.

What’s happening: “DOE just issued a formal ‘notice of intent’ for the ‘Transmission Facilitation Program’ (TFP) in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” a means of gathering input prior to a request for proposals, according to Axios.

  • The program gives DOE “loans and authority to purchase power off-take capacity in new projects—capacity it would resell to replenish the fund.”
  • The financial backing is intended to give investors confidence.

Why it’s important:  The program, one of several components of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law meant to spur energy grid and transmission upgrades, marks “the first time DOE can enter into these capacity contracts outside the federally owned Power Marketing Administrations,” DOE grid official Patricia Hoffman told Axios.

  • It fits into the Biden administration’s climate goals, one of which is to transition to 100% zero-carbon power by 2035.

Next up:  “The department expects to begin a process under TFP early next year that adds the program’s loan and public–private partnership financing tools, DOE said.”

The NAM says: “For years, manufacturers have supported and advocated for grid modernization and increased grid resiliency,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones. “This funding, which was secured through the NAM-supported infrastructure bill, is a significant investment. It will begin to bring our nation’s power grid, which in some places is over 50 years old, into the 21st century.”

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